Part 1 HVAC Inspection - What Inspectors Look For

When a buyer hires a Professional Home Inspector like Boxer Inspections, they will want to know the condition of all significant systems in the house. In the Houston area, a major concern is always the HVAC or Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning system and especially, the AC side of the system.

The AC system consists of two major components:

  • AC condenser - usually outside beside the home or on the roof of condos or townhomes. This part of the system exchanges the heat absorbed by the system from inside the home and "exchanges" it to the outside air. It is composed of the compressor which pumps the refrigerant through the system and the heat exchanger coils.

  • Evaporator - usually inside the home either in the attic or a utility closet inside the home. This part of the system is cold as the refrigerant passes through it. The refrigerant absorbs heat from the air thus cooling the air. This cooler air is then forced into the home by the air handler.

  • Other components - air handler, cooling lines, condensate drain lines

Condenser Evaporator

Below are a few items a Professional Home Inspector will look for when inspecting the system components.

  1. Condenser or Condensing Unit:

  2. Unit should be level to ensure oil property lubricates the pump

  3. Unit should be 3 inches higher than the ground (grade)

  4. Unit should be clean without dirt and debris inside the unit or on the heat exchanger fins

  5. Unit should not be loud, noisy, or vibrate heavily

  6. The AC service lines must have Anti-Tamp proof caps installed

  7. The cold line (suction line) should be thoroughly wrapped with insulation from the condenser to the evaporator

Evaporator Unit:

  1. Unit should be sealed tightly without air leaks

  2. Unit should be clean. If an inspection port is available, the Professional Home Inspector will check the coils

  3. The cold line (suction line) should be fully insulated all the way to the evaporator cabinet

  4. The condensate drain line from the evaporator cabinet must also be insulated for the first 10 feet

  5. The condensate drain line must be 3/4 inch diameter and have a p-type trap installed

  6. Secondary condensate drain line must drain to a catch pan

As one would expect, there are a number of other items to check when inspecting the HVAC system. While this blog post discusses the AC system, the heater portion must also be checked.

Boxer Inspections is your Professional Home Inspection company - 281-783-3030

Copywrited material. Not for use without written permission. Sep 2018

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Tel:  281-783-3030

Fax: 281-581-0296

225 Matlage Way 
Suite 1383

Sugar Land, Texas 77487